Let me start by warning you that this post is going to be absolutely swimming in SPOILERS, so don't say I didn't warn you! I would also like to get it out into the open that I thought this was an exceptional film. That said, I felt it that the credits should have ran about 15 minutes before the actual ending.
The film's director Christopher Nolan nailed the feel of what a Batman film should be when he took a turn toward the dark roots of the original comics. That is why I was so shocked at what I saw at the end of the film, and not in a good way either.
So lets set the scene again: The Joker has been captured, Harvey Dent is supposedly dead...(we'll see how long that lasts,) and now Commissioner Gordon and Batman are gonna set around and chit chat about symbolism, like a couple of old bats at a swap meet...
Really? I kept waiting for the scene to freeze and have Zack Morris walk out from the side of the screen, providing some useless commentary on what we had learned today. Then, in true homage to crappy NBC sitcoms, a "The More You Know," shooting star would fly across the screen.
If you don't know what I am babbling, about see the below clip that hilarious send-up, courtesy of NBC's The Office:
Nolan had worked so hard to make Batman a character that was deep and mysterious. This ending exchange made the director look like a pretentious bastard. Why you say? Because he has assumed that as uncultured Americans, we are too stupid to notice the symbolism in the movie. To further exacerbate this, they decide to break it down like we are a Film Appreciation 101 class filled with kids who spent their infancy sucking on lead paint chips! In fact, just thinking about it again starts to makes me upset.
Sure, it was a cleaver new way to explain the origin of Two-Face, some would even say it was great. The emotional toll weighing on Harvey Dent would have driven any man bat-shit bananas. But the moment a director allows it to be spelled it out to the audience through dialog, they have pissed away all credibility. The whole ending sequence came off as more of a way for the crew to pat themselves on the back at how smart they were. It would have been better to remain unsaid, and let the audience come to to their own conclusions.
Let me say once and for all, Hollywood, we are not a bunch of dumb drones who need to be spoon fed a plot line. For the love of Christ, give us a little more credit than that! Any momentum that the film had, was killed at that exact moment. To me, this proved to be a sizable blemish on what was an otherwise great experience. So if you haven't seen The Dark Knight, go see the it. If you have already seen it, go see it again. Just do yourself a favor and leave once the Joker is captured, your bladder will be thankful too.
Below is the theatrical trailer for The Dark Knight: